In 1990, photographer Wendy Ewald, with encouragement from Durham, North Carolina, school administrators and support from the Center for Documentary Studies, started the Literacy Through Photography (LTP) program, working in the Durham Public Schools to make photographs the basis for a variety of learning experiences across the curriculum. Since then, LTP has worked with numerous elementary and middle school teachers and with hundreds of children of varying ages and backgrounds.
A new book, Literacy and Justice Through Photography: A Classroom Guide, is written specifically for teachers, and provides detailed project descriptions, lesson plans, and resources for integrating LTP practices into the curricula. Authors Ewald, creative director of LTP, sociologist Katherine Hyde, LTP’s director, and Lisa Lord, a writer and longtime teacher, share their varying perspectives to build on students’ own ideas and experiences with four LTP projects—“American Alphabets,” “The Best Part of Me,” “Black Self/ White Self,” and “Memories of Past Centuries.”
“We believe that a primary reason for doing these projects is that they provide students the chance to explore—with honesty, creativity, and critical thinking—important social, personal, and political topics that otherwise are easily avoided in the classroom,” the authors state in the book’s introduction. “Literacy Through Photography, as a philosophy and practice, is about students learning to read and write by doing, by creating their own works of art (rather than studying someone else’s) that combine words and images to express an idea and to tell a story.”
On November 19, 2011, the book’s official launch will take place at the annual National Council of Teachers of English convention at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. The authors will make a presentation based on an LTP project, “Memories of Past Centuries: Archival Photos, Flip Videos, and Student-Made Movies Change Lives,” in which they will share excerpts of student video projects created to teach lessons from history, the Holocaust in this case.
Literacy and Justice Through Photography: A Classroom Guide, is published by Teachers College Press and CDS Books of the Center for Documentary Studies.
To order from Teachers College Press: www.tcpress.com